A WILD, FUN TRIP ALONG THE EXPLOITATION HIGHWAY: SCOTT VON DOVIAK'S LOW DOWN ROAD
If you're like me, you've been disappointed in this summer's cinema so far with it's bloated i.p. story telling. However you can experience a great throwback to the lean mean seventies flicks by going to the bookstore. Scott Von Doviak's Low Down Road takes us back to good ole boys, fast cars, super fly drug dealers, and lots of action and laughs.
He kicks it off with a chapter both harrowing and hilarious. Just out of prison, loser Chuck Melville "borrows " his cousin Dean's Challenger, drives to a small town outside Austin and picks up the local barfly. The two are pulled over by the local deputy who happens to be her husband and a shootout occurs, putting Chuck in the middle of a double murder, forcing him to scrap the Challenger.
Cousin Dean planned to use the car to pay off his debt to Antoine, and scrapyard and drug kingpin. Chuck convinces him to steal several marijuana bricks from Antoine and take them to Snake River Canyon, where Evel Knievel plans to do his jump and sell it at "The Redneck Woodstock". So the two hit the road with Antone and the murdered deputy's sheriff soon on their trail. They get involved beautiful woman, assorted lowlifes, and a killer hillbilly family along the way.
Doviak takes all these types and tropes from seventies exploitation and the Snake Canyon River history and builds his own grindhouse world with it. Chuck and Dean are on a Highway to Hell that gets more grotesque, violent, and outrageous with every mile. He takes the stereotypes from these movies and combines them with literary shading to ground his tale just enough. This is especially true of Antoine who bursts out of his blaxploitation frame and the sheriff who becomes a doomed Johnny Cash figure. Doviak's wild humor also becomes an integral part to his storytelling.
Low Down Road is as fun as the exploitation movies it exploits. Your mind's eye sees the film scratches and cigarette burns as Chuck and Dean race through a tall tale of sex, action, and violence where nothing is considered over the top. This book moves from zero to a hundred in three pages and keeps the pedal to the metal in a way that would make make Burt Reynolds hold onto his cowboy hat.